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General News · 6th March 2024
Mark Vonesch
Hi Everyone!

I’m writing with some further details about opting into the Short Term Rental Act, the Alternative Approval Process for a potential Dog Control Service, and to remind you to have your voice heard in the zoning bylaw review process.

Zoning Bylaw Review Process

As I mentioned in my last e-mail, the SRD is in a consultation phase to update our zoning bylaws to better reflect the Cortes Islanders vision for land use planning. This is a huge opportunity to have your voice heard.

The open house meeting is at 1pm today at Manson’s Hall and if you can’t make the meeting, please email and CC me (

I have heard a number of ideas on how we can use this process to instigate more rental housing availability on Cortes including the following:

1) Larger Cottages:
Allow secondary dwellings to be larger: (from 650 sq ft to 1,300 sq ft) to provide rental housing for families
Provide an option for two smaller cottages instead of one larger cottage

2) Allow more houses on existing properties:
Upzone RU to RR1
Upzone RR1 to R1
Remove the maximum number of houses in RR1 and RU

3) Affordable housing:
Make it easier to add more density to Rainbow Ridge land in the years to come.

4) Cluster housing:
The minimum lot size for clustered density is 75% of the regular lot size. If this was changed to be closer to 25% of the regular lot size, it would support more clustered housing.

Please have your voice heard by attending today’s open house or writing into SRD planning so that these new bylaws reflect your vision for our islands future.

More details about this process can be found here:

Dog Control Service Alternative Approval Process

The Alternative Approval Process for a potential Dog Control Service has begun and electors have until noon on April 15th to write in against it.

If a dog control service is established it would tax the average property approximately $20/yr to create and enforce dog control bylaws. Those bylaws could include requiring dogs to be on leash or under control in public areas and provide a mechanism for dangerous dogs to be reported to the RCMP.

If you do not want a dog control service on Cortes you must fill in the forms and submit them to the SRD by April 15th. Details and forms are available here:

Short Term Rental Regulation

I have received a lot of feedback regarding Cortes opting into the Short Term Rental regulations that would ensure that properties can only have short term rentals if they are on the primary property of the STR host. Most of the feedback has been positive, but some of you have concerns and I want to provide you with some additional information.

1) All properties will be allowed to have short term rentals as long as the host of the short term rental lives on the property. So if properties have a full time renter or the land owner lives on the property they can act as the host.

2) For the vast majority of short term rentals that operate on Cortes, this legislation will not impact you. Most short term rentals will be positively impacted by this legislation because of the slight increase in demand.

Here are a couple or reports that share the impact of short term rentals on communities and potential ways to protect our community from the further erosion of long term rental housing:

Please reach out if you have questions or want to chat!


Cortes Island Regional Director - 250-202-4422